Joined Rakuten Group mid-career in October 2019
Department…Global Streaming Service Development Department
Origin…Taipei City, Taiwan
Hi, everyone. This is R-Hack editorial office.
MIP (Most Impressive Person) is one of the internal awards in Rakuten Group Commerce & Marketing Company Development Department, presented once every quarter to the people who contributed the most to the organization from among all Company employees.
The winner of 1Q 2023 MIP was Kohan, who is the service owner of Rakuten DRAGON (in Japanese only), a new service which supports everything related to live commerce from broadcasting to data analysis. He brought together members from various countries including Japan, China, and India, and successfully released the service in February 2023.
We asked Kohan, who built a career in his native Taiwan, later joined Rakuten Group in October 2019 and is now playing an active role as Manager, for his comments.
--Kohan, you’re from Taipei City, Taiwan. Can you tell us about your career there before joining Rakuten Group?
After studying Computer Science at University of Bristol, UK, I started my career as a full-stack engineer. A few years later, I took my MBA in National Chengchi University, Taiwan and later worked as a technical product manager also in Taiwan.
--What brought you to Japan and join Rakuten Group after building your career in Taiwan?
Taiwan has Taiwan Rakuten Ichiba, which is operated by a Taiwanese subsidiary of Rakuten Group. Taiwan Rakuten Ichiba is popular with the locals as well, so I have long been familiar with Rakuten Group.
Rakuten has a role called Producer, a hybrid of Product Manager and Project Manager. With this role, I believed I could make use of my experience and knowledge, so I joined Rakuten Group in October 2019.
--You knew about Rakuten Group since when you were in Taiwan. What kind of work have you done after actually joining the company?
My first position at Rakuten Group was at Global Ad Technology Department. As Producer, I took care of both specification creation and task scheduling to deliver high-quality products.
My second position was at Rakuten Mobile, and I was involved in onboarding projects and the release of Rakuten Mobile products. Currently, I am the service owner of Rakuten DRAGON.
--What are your current duties as a service owner?
A service owner is responsible for all the areas including budget management, product management, project management, engineering management, and QA. I have a daily huddle meeting with each team leaders to catch up with the latest progress. By doing this, I can fix issues and blockers before they occur, and prevent them from actually occurring.
--Please tell us about the project with which you won the MIP.
The project was to release Rakuten DRAGON, a live shopping platform. With the Rakuten DRAGON service, Rakuten Ichiba merchants can live stream and introduce their products while viewers can watch and purchase products they like.
We didn’t develop it from scratch but replaced an existing live platform. However, not only was the schedule limited, but the system also needed to ensure high stability and reliability during several big events, such as Rakuten Ichiba Wonderful Day on the first day of every month and Rakuten Ichiba Appreciation Day on the 18th of every month.
-- Since this was a large-scale project, I’m sure you had a lot of difficulties. What were some of your most memorable experiences?
It was a new tech domain for me, so I needed to understand and learn it as quickly as possible so that I could lead my team members.
Management-wise, communication with members from around the world, including Japan, China, and India, was a challenge for me. It required me to present each task more specifically and draw up an organized schedule.
--What do you think is the reason you won the award?
I am very honored to receive this MIP with my team members. Not only me, but all my team members were highly motivated. We worked as one team and encouraged each other. I feel that this was the key to the award.
--What do you keep in mind in management?
I am fully aligned with “Speed!! Speed!! Speed!!”, one of Rakuten Group’s principles for success. This allows me to be confident in managing any project. Improving efficiency and effectiveness with Shikumika is also important. In the future, I hope to implement a systemized process and continue to facilitate various projects.
Thank you for your encouraging comments! We look forward to your continued success, and congratulations again on your award!
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